T cell recirculation through extralymphoid tissues is essential to immune surveillance, host defense and inflammation. In this process, T cells enter the tissue from the blood and subsequently leave via the afferent lymph. In the absence of inflammation, T cells require CCR7 expression to egress from the skin or lung, which is consistent with the constitutive expression of the CCR7 ligand CCL21 on lymphatic endothelium. However, during chronic inflammation alternative chemoattractants come into play, allowing Ccr7-deficient (Ccr7 -/-) T cells to egress efficiently from affected skin. As T cell egress from inflamed sites is a potential control point of the inflammatory response, we aimed to determine alternative T cell exit receptors using a mouse and a sheep model. We show that CCR7+ and CCR7- T cells exiting from the chronically inflamed skin were highly responsive to the CXCR4 ligand CXCL12, which was induced in the lymphatics in the inflamed site. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that CXCR4 mediates T cell egress from inflamed skin. However, pharmacological inhibition of CXCR4 did not affect the tissue egress of wildtype or Ccr7-/- CD4 and CD8 T cells after adoptive transfer into chronically inflamed skin. Similarly, adoptively transferred Cxcr4-/- Ccr7-/- and Ccr7-/- T cells egressed from the inflamed skin equally well. Based on these data, we conclude that, while CXCR4 might play an essential role for other cell types that enter the afferent lymphatics, it is dispensable for T cell egress from the chronically inflamed skin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences